Not all of us are
blessed cursed with wild party animals on the loudest, most raucous of holidays. They have this nagging tendency to hog all the attention.
Most pup parents have, you know, normal dogs—dogs that are unsure of explosive fireworks, party horns, and clanging pots and pans. Even the traditional New Year’s Eve countdown can be loud and frightening. According to the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) and the EcoWaste Coalition, the “acoustic violence” these noises produce can cause long-term trauma for dogs and cats.
Remember, dogs hear sound on a range of frequencies much larger than what humans detect, and their sensitive hearing picks up sound significantly further away. That means those pinprick popping fireworks are actually booming, and the talk and laughter of your party guests is really quite stressful.
For this reason, PAWS tweeted an easy, practical solution that may help ease your dog’s nerves this holiday.
We suggest using a scarf (length depending on the size of the dog), but really any stretchy piece of fabric will do. Simply place the center of the scarf across the dog’s chest and cross the ends over the shoulders. Next, cross those ends beneath the chest and bring back up, tying in a secure knot away from the spine.
The scarf should be snug, but not constricting. Like the ThunderShirt, the slight pressure around the body (like a constant hug!) is supposed to deliver a calming effect, or at least take the nervous edge off. This DIY option is on hand in a pinch, and could very possibly save your pup from unnecessary discomfort.
Consider these tips from PAWS and the Ecowaste Coalition to make your dog and your home more comfortable when midnight rolls around:
1. Take your dog on a good, long walk during the afternoon to shed some layers of anxious energy before the night.
2. Consider asking your neighbors to skip the firecrackers this year, or at least do it away from your house.
3. Before the commotion starts, make sure your dog has had his meal and has access to plenty of water.
4. Have a “safe spot” set up in a quiet room. Place your dog’s bed inside, or a blanket and a few toys. Don’t be worried if your pup needs to escape the ruckus; that safe spot is the best place for him.
5. In the safe room especially, but preferably all over the house, shut the curtains and consider playing some calming music to produce the most relaxed environment possible.
New Year’s Eve is no friend to dogs—even if you don’t share a home with a frightened pup, let’s toss the firecrackers, okay? Start the new year with some consideration for those on four legs and two, and celebrate the holiday knowing everyone has the tools to enjoy it too.